Mothers Against Drunk Driving Name Wheeler ‘2015 Legislator of the Year’

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has named State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) a “2015 Legislator of the Year” for her efforts to curb repeat drunk driving. Wheeler was the chief sponsor of House Bill 3533, which prevents repeat drunk drivers from prematurely reobtaining a driver’s license and increases the length of time breathalyzer ignition devices (BAIID devices) must remain in their vehicles.

“MADD graciously thanks Representative Wheeler for her unwavering support of stronger drunk driving laws in Illinois,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “MADD is proud to partner with Representative Wheeler and other state leaders who are dedicated to our mission of eliminating drunk driving once and for all.”

Under HB 3533, the Illinois Vehicle Code was amended so that anyone caught driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicating compounds, or any combination of these on multiple occasions will be subject to the installation of BAIID devices on all their vehicles for no less than five years. BAIID devices are breathalyzer devices that are connected to a vehicles ignition, if there is any presence of alcohol on the breath of the driver, the vehicle will not be able to start.

“As a mother, I know the worry that drunken driving causes and I’m very happy to have worked with MADD and the Mains family to get HB 3533 passed this year,” said Wheeler. “You can do everything right behind the wheel, but drunk drivers take the power to keep your family safe out of your hands. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we keep repeat DUI offenders off the road.

Gov. Rauner signs HB 3533 as Rep. Wheeler and members of
the Mains family join him for the occasion.
“Everyone makes mistakes in life, but when a person places themselves and others at risk by repeatedly driving under the influence, we need to make every effort to keep them from doing so again,” Wheeler concluded.

In addition to the extended duration of the BAIID devices in their vehicles under HB 3533, repeat offenders will not be eligible to apply for a license again until completing a five year period under a restricted driving permit. During this period, should the person have their permit suspended, cancelled, revoked, or they break the regulations of their BAIID device, they will be further inhibit from acquiring a license.

Wheeler also again thanked Joel Mains of Crystal Lake, and his family, who played an instrumental role in bringing HB 3533 before the General Assembly and be signed into law.